Most residents of Cambodia live in spare housing that lack space for numerous guests. When the occasion demands many invitees, what to do?
Such an occasion might be a funeral, an engagement party, a wedding or a Buddhist ceremony showing respect and support for the elderly. I have yet to be invited to a wedding here, even in this the high season.
Although there are a few cavernous catering halls for weddings, they undoubtedly are beyond the reach of most Cambodians; dinners in them involve only part of festivities that may well be extended over several days. Traditionalists place emphasis on having important events close to home.
The answer to the question in the first paragraph is to rent a tent or tents, the second one being for food preparation.
If the tent happens to block the road, well, no one seems to mind. Nor does anyone seek or, therefore, obtain permission.
I have encountered tents extending from store fronts onto a sidewalk and into a road. They are for funerals, and most last for days.
You can discern what the tents are for generally by the colors of their décor. Black and white is for funerals, for which most participants where white. Pastels, usually pink, signify nuptials. And orange likely means a Buddhist ceremony.
I do frequently come across street-straddling tents as I make my way around Phnom Penh. On a Sunday last month, I saw three of them in my perambulation of barely more than an hour.
Below, you’ll find additional photos, which I took that Sunday along with the others in this post (except for the one at the top). I hope you enjoy them.